International surgical mission repairs bodies, rebuilds lives

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, June 14 - - Repairing bodies, rebuilding lives. This   was the goal of recent 12th International Surgical Mission of the Interplast of Australia and New Zealand at the Benguet General Hospital which catered to patients of various cases   including a pioneering surgical procedure of tissue transplantation on a forehead of a 68-year old patient.


Led by anesthesiologist Dr. Lindsay McBride, the team was accompanied by an Operating Theatre Specialist, Lilliana Levada, who shared her expertise in operating room management.

A seven centimeter mass believed to be cancerous was excised from the patient’s forehead transplanting tissue from the forearm of the patient within a span of four hours. The procedure is called “microvascular free flapafter” which is a "transplantation" of tissue from one site of the body to another in order to reconstruct an existing defect.

The surgical procedure believed to the first in Baguio and Benguet area entailed a complex procedure called ‘anastomosis’ which connected the blood vessels of the flap to the blood vessels on the neck to ensure that the flap would survive.

“It’s almost analogous to a kidney transplant,” said Dr. James Leong, one of the team surgeons.

The surgical mission served 46 patients not only from Benguet but from other provinces in Luzon as far as Zambales.

Cases ranged from facial deformities such as cleft lip and palate, burn contractures on different areas of the body and other acquired deformities such as syndactylys or fused fingers.

 “Rebuilding lives and giving these patients new hope is probably the best gift we can give,” said McBride.  “And coming here and working together with the exemplary staff of Benguet General Hospital has been a wonderful and truly amazing experience,” she added.

Acknowledging the team for their valiant efforts, Governor Crescencio C. Pacalso during the closing ceremonies said, “Your coming here, sharing your expertise and helping is a blessing to these patients.” He expressed hope the team will come again next year. (PIA/BeGH release)


Benguet Destinations

Strawberry Farm

La Trinidad is know to be the “Strawberry Capital of the Philippines” because of the strawberry fields. Visitors can experience strawberry picking and also taste different products made from strawberry like the strawberry ice cream and strawberry “taho”.

Asin Hot Springs

Located at the outskirts of the city of Baguio, this attraction gives it’s visitors the chance to indulge in serious relaxation. Asin Hot Springs has been knwon to do wonders for the mind, body and soul because of the spring’s natural minerals like sulfates, calcium and chloride.

BenCab Museum

The BenCab museum, located at KM 6. Asin Road, houses the permanent collection of Philippine National Artist Benedicto Cabrera (BenCab) in several galleries, as well as venues for art shows and exhibitions. The Philippine Contemporary Art Galleries highlight the artist’s collection of paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture. The smaller exhibition rooms contain other collections accumulated by BenCab through the years.

Bell Church

The home to beautiful landscaped gardens and intricately designed arches and buildings adorned with flags, bells and dragons. Bell church holds some artifacts about Buddhism and literatures about the history of China.

Mt. Pulag

Mt. Pulag is the highest peak in Luzon and the third highest in the Philippines which is 2,922 meters above sea level. The view from the top of Mt. Pulag never fails to amaze its climbers.

Kabayan Mummies

Also know as the Fire Mummies of the Philippines, the Kabayan Mummies are from the Ibaloi tribe of Benguet. This have been included in the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the World by a non-profit organization that focuses on the preservation of important historical monuments and sites.

Ambuclao Dam

The Ambuclao dam is popularly known as the biggest rock filled dam in the Far East and is considered as one of the major projects in Luzon that feeds electricity to the grid lines of Luzon.

Rose Gardens

Rose lovers will surely be pleased with Rose Gardens. A famous tourist attraction located in La Trinidad. Here, you will find a large variety of roses, chrysanthemums and other ornamental plants.

Mt. Ugo

This is considered to be one of the major destinations in the Cordilleras. It is the highest mountain located in Tinongdan, Itogon via the Benguet-Vizcayay boundary that boasts of stunning views of neighboring mountains and the great Luzon valley.

Kalugong View Point

A trek to Mount Kalugong is something that adventure seekers and nature lovers woudn't miss. The Kalugong View Point will give you a breathtaking experience and a panoramic view of the La Trinidad Valley and ther villages.